Livingston’s Lauds: The Five Most Addictive Must-Have Apps for the Perfect Smartphone

by Latoya Livingston on March 31, 2013

Mobile App Shopping2If you’re anything like me, your smartphone is the last thing you handle before you go to bed and the first thing you pick up when you wake up.  Smartphone users are becoming increasingly addicted to their devices, and your level of addiction depends greatly on the apps you have installed to make your life just that more convenient.  So, as the enabler that I am, here is my list of the apps that will likely feed your dependence on your iPhone or Android:

Have you vetted this place?

YelpYelp is a local directory service that uses social media and user reviews to become a one-stop shop for users to learn about and grade a variety of businesses.  Yelp boasts more than 100 million monthly unique visitors with its usage on the steady incline.  Quite frankly, I refuse to eat at a restaurant, book a hotel, or pick a dentist without first checking its rating and reviews on Yelp.  Not only that, but I’ve become a very active Yelp commenter in my own right.  What separates Yelp from similar apps is not only its extensive global user base, but also its easy-to-use interface and the exclusive rewards or deals that users can receive from ‘checking in’ to a business using its app.  Price:  It’s FREE!

Look out!  There’s a speed camera.

Waze is a free social WazeGPS app that features turn-by-turn navigation that learns from users’ driving time to provide routing and real-time traffic updates.  What sets Waze apart from other apps is the ability for users to report real time traffic conditions, such as traffic jams, disabled cars, and speed and red-light cameras.  These conditions are announced to other drivers via their smartphones’ speakers or cars’ Bluetooth capabilities.  This app is a Godsend, especially for those of us in the D.C. metro area who have been bombarded by speed cameras at every turn.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that speed and traffic cameras serve an important goal for public safety and supplementing municipal coffers, but there’s nothing better than getting a heads-up from Waze that a speed camera or traffic camera has been reported ahead.  Price:  ZILCH!

Keep me up-to-date

Huffington PostI know that there are some people who swear by news apps, such as the Washington Post, CNN, or The New York Times; however, the Huffington Post is by far my favorite.  The Huffington Post is a news website and app that uses content aggregation and a blog format to educate its users on a wide range of topics.  What separates the Huffington Post app from the aforementioned apps is its user friendly interface and the breadth of its articles.  The app alone offers 49 sections ranging from Politics and Tech to Entertainment and Religion, each with a laundry list of articles.  What’s unique about Huff Post, as it’s affectionately referred to, is its specialized sections: Black Voices, Latino Voices, Voces (which offers articles in Spanish), and Huff/Post 50 (for older users), just to name a few.  Huff Post clearly cares about nurturing its audience.  Price: Nada.

Here, let’s exchange cards

CardmunchBeing an active networker, as you have to be in the D.C. area, you get bombarded with business cards at every turn.  Personally, I store mine in a box and seldom look at them again after the obligatory follow-up email is sent.  LinkedIn is what many would call a Facebook for professionals; it allows its users to post their resumes online and network with other professionals via its website.  These days, you would be hard pressed to find a professional who didn’t have a LinkedIn page (and companies and HR staffs know that).  LinkedIn has upped the ante on its importance to professional service by purchasing CardMunch, an app that allows the user to take, store, and organize their business cards.  What makes this app different is that not only do you take a photo of a business card, which gets uploaded onto the app, but the app also gives you the option to ‘connect’ with that person via their LinkedIn profile.  So, in one touch of your smartphone screen you can also become connected on LinkedIn.  It also merges the information from the other person’s LinkedIn page to provide a wealth of information about your new contact.  This is a must-have for the busy professional.  Price: Nothing.

Let’s just take the Metro

HopstopHopStop is the perfect app for the busy commuter who often finds him or herself traversing the streets of varying metropolises.  HopStop’s app provides city transit guides and door-to-door subway and bus directions for many major cities around the world.  Besides easy to follow directions with detailed time and walking instructions, the app also provides transit schedules, station information, and transit maps.  With options that allow you to choose your departure or arrival times and your preferred method of travel (Subway/Rail, Bus, Walking, Taxi, or a combination of them all) and its price, you’d be hard pressed to get lost anywhere that you plan on visiting.  Price: One Guess.

Time to Shop and Spread the Word!

I hope that this list has given you a few helpful app suggestions to make life just that much more convenient.  While you are exploring these apps, please remember those who have yet to adopt broadband and who have no idea about all the wonderful and helpful opportunities and tools that the service provides.  All people should have the chance to fully experience the robust world of the Internet and smartphones.  Also, if you have any app suggestions that you would like to add to the list, please tweet them to me at @LALivingstonESQ.

Note: MMTC neither requested nor received any compensation for providing these tips.  BBSJ does not accept advertising.

  • Latoya LivingstonLatoya Livingston is a Washington-D.C.-based attorney with years of legal experience working in the private and public sector. Currently, Attorney Livingston serves as a Senior Attorney and the Earle K. Moore Fellow at MMTC.
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